Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law

Paperback | March 30, 1998

EditorPeter Brooks, Paul Gewirtz

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The law is full of stories, ranging from the competing narratives presented at trials to the Olympian historical narratives set forth in Supreme Court opinions. How those stories are told and listened to makes a crucial difference to those whose lives are reworked in legal storytelling. The public at large has increasingly been drawn to law as an area where vivid human stories are played out with distinctively high stakes. And scholars in several fields have recently come to recognize that law's stories need to be studied critically.

This notable volume—inspired by a symposium held at Yale Law School—brings together an exceptional group of well-known figures in law and literary studies to take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law and how they are constructed and made effective. Why is it that some stories—confessions, victim impact statements—can be excluded from decisionmakers' hearing? How do judges claim the authority by which they impose certain stories on reality?

Law's Stories opens new perspectives on the law, as narrative exchange, performance, explanation. It provides a compelling encounter of law and literature, seen as two wary but necessary interlocutors.

Contributors

J. M. Balkin

Peter Brooks

Harlon L. Dalton

Alan M. Dershowitz

Daniel A. Farber

Robert A. Ferguson

Paul Gewirtz

John Hollander

Anthony Kronman

Pierre N. Leval

Sanford Levinson

Catharine MacKinnon

Janet Malcolm

Martha Minow

David N. Rosen

Elaine Scarry

Louis Michael Seidman

Suzanna Sherry

Reva B. Siegel

Robert Weisberg

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From Our Editors

In this notable volume, well-known authorities from the worlds of law and literature take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law. Such experts as Alan Dershowitz, Martha Minow, Janet Malcolm, Catharine MacKinnon, and John Hollander discuss how narratives presented at trials and in Supreme Court opinions are told and ...

From the Publisher

The law is full of stories, ranging from the competing narratives presented at trials to the Olympian historical narratives set forth in Supreme Court opinions. How those stories are told and listened to makes a crucial difference to those whose lives are reworked in legal storytelling. The public at large has increasingly been drawn t...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:298 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:March 30, 1998Publisher:Yale University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300074905

ISBN - 13:9780300074901

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From Our Editors

In this notable volume, well-known authorities from the worlds of law and literature take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law. Such experts as Alan Dershowitz, Martha Minow, Janet Malcolm, Catharine MacKinnon, and John Hollander discuss how narratives presented at trials and in Supreme Court opinions are told and listened to, and how they affect legal thinking and judgment."Those who are unfamiliar or untutored in narrative and rhetoric will find the contributions accessible and provocative. Those who are more experienced will enjoy sorting out the disagreements among the contributors and acquire a clearer sense of what is at stake here". -- Ira L. Strauber, The Law and Politics Book Review"Law's Stories offers an unusually rich perspective on the developing scholarship of narrative and rhetoric in the law ... The book succeeds in bringing to the forefront of 'law as literature' studies a very crucial aspect of investigation and will undoubtedly become one of the touchstones of law and literature scholarship". -- Wendy Chon, New York La